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#338085 - 02/11/11 06:59 PM Re: Sound & Vision mag reviews M60's [Re: alan]
Adrian Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/27/08
Posts: 6551
Loc: It's all about the location.
It baffles me how some people can't see(pardon the terminology) the benefit of blind testing. Alan, didn't you mention a while back that some reviewers were dead set against such tests?
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#338086 - 02/11/11 07:01 PM Re: Sound & Vision mag reviews M60's [Re: alan]
JBall Offline
veteran

Registered: 11/11/10
Posts: 141
Originally Posted By: alan
JBall,

What you do not realize is that the simple on-axis curve published by the reviewer in Sound&Vision is a relatively primitive measurement by comparison to the sophisticated set of measurements Axiom is able to do in a large anechoic chamber (the latter is a duplicate of the chamber at the National Research Council, where Kevin Voecks, the designer of Revel, learned much of what he knows about speaker design, along with Ian Colquhoun, and Paul Barton (PSB), Andrew Welker Mirage/Energy, Scott Bagby (Paradigm) and others). It's all about the "family of curves", not just an on-axis curve.

In your room at home, at least 50% of the sound reaching your ears is a combination of off-axis sounds reflected from room surfaces and radiated at increasing angles away from the center of the speaker. These, combined with the on-axis radiation, make up the overall spectral balance presented to listeners. So to properly gauge the output of a speaker, measurements have to be done at increasing angles to each side, above and below and even to the rear of the speaker in the anechoic chamber. When these curves are all combined, and the shape of the off-axis curves mirrors the on-axis curve, they have a very high predictability in terms of sound preference in double-blind tests. The smoother the off-axis and on-axis curves, the greater the likelihood it will be an excellent sounding speaker. In the NRC days, some 70 measurements were done at all angles to the speaker in the chamber. Similar groups of measurements are done at Axiom.

This research over 25 years conducted by Dr. Floyd Toole, forms the design background of Ian Colquhoun, Kevin Voecks--he was with Mirage then Snell when he did much of the work--Paul Barton and others. That scientific approach was taken to Harman by Floyd Toole when he moved to Harman as vice-president, and is carried on by Dr. Sean Olive. When Harman acquired Revel, it was a natural fit for Kevin Voecks, who was already very familiar with the NRC scientific guidelines on speaker measurement and testing. Harman has a large anechoic chamber much like Axiom's. Very few others exist in North America.

Having done over 20 years of double-blind tests of speakers in my role as editor of Canadian audio-video magazines, often in the company of Floyd Toole, Sean Olive, Ian G. Masters and others, I can attest that there is often no correlation between price and sound quality. I have data and rating sheets in my files that regularly show speakers from Axiom, PSB, and Paradigm that sold for roughly $1,000 per pair or so besting speakers from B&W, Kef and others that sold from $5000 to $7500 per pair in the late '80s and early '90s.

I have heard various excellent Revel and Snell speakers over the years, and I'd quite happily put a pair of M80 v3s in a double-blind test up against some of the exotically priced Revels. I expect there'd be frequent use of the phrase "similarly good", with at times a preference for one or the other speaker depending on the source material and minor spectral differences. But the ranking scores would be very close.

This was nicely illustrated by the double-blind tests conducted at the Axiom 30th anniversary, in which many forum members participated. The $330 pair Axiom M3s were preferrred by a majority of listeners over a pair of B&W Nautilus bookshelf models that sold for $2,500/pair. The Nautilus were very pretty, with the teardrop tweeter perched on top, and they sounded quite good, but they were not as linear and neutral as the Axiom M3s.

Over the years, I've found that once you reach a price point of about $1000 to $2000 per pair in loudspeakers from a talented designer, more money will not buy you "better" sound reproduction. It may be similarly good, but the more expensive speakers won't necessarily rank higher in double-blind tests.

The NRC testing protocol is largely bullet-proof, and the evidence is out there to be heard from Axiom, Revel, PSB, Snell, Paradigm and, in past years, from Energy and Mirage.



So let me see if I understand your post correctly.

Axiom conducted a Blind test where Axiom employees and Axiom owners participated and preferred the Axiom speakers? There seems to be a bias despite it being a blind test.

If a guy farted and another guy burped and you blind folded a listener, the blinded listener would still recognize the difference between a fart and a burp sound wouldn't you agree?

You seem to be indicating that the M80V3s can at the very minimum tie the most expensive most elaborate speaker out there if the test is done blind....and controlled by Axiom???

If this is true then thanks I am the proud owner of the best speakers ever made smile

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#338087 - 02/11/11 07:03 PM Re: Sound & Vision mag reviews M60's [Re: JBall]
Adrian Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/27/08
Posts: 6551
Loc: It's all about the location.
How can a double blind test be biased, what is wrong with you? I give up!!
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A person convinced against their will is of the same opinion still.

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#338088 - 02/11/11 07:14 PM Re: Sound & Vision mag reviews M60's [Re: Adrian]
JBall Offline
veteran

Registered: 11/11/10
Posts: 141
Originally Posted By: Adrian
How can a double blind test be biased, what is wrong with you? I give up!!
If a participant and/or the tester is familiar with the sound of the product under test, that is a BIAS. I am not a very scientific oriented person but that is very clear to me. The point is even blind, a listener can discern the sonic signature of a speaker they are very familiar with, same as my fart analogy....




Edited by JBall (02/11/11 07:14 PM)

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#338089 - 02/11/11 07:14 PM Re: Sound & Vision mag reviews M60's [Re: JBall]
Kruncher Offline
devotee

Registered: 10/05/06
Posts: 484
Loc: Maple Ridge, BC
Compared to many here, I don't post my ramblings here that often, but I must say...

This is approaching the most dismissive, thoughtless and borderline rude posts I've read here in some time. And for those who've been here awhile, that might be saying something.

Regardless of Mr. Lofft's current employment, the man knows of what he speaks, and if you'd take a moment to actually listen without bias, you might actually learn something. Then offer some well conceived questions with which to expand your knowledge on the topic.

To have such an expert in the field who willing, concisely and frequently shares his knowledge is a rare gift in any industry, and I for one respect the hours and dedication that such experts put into their craft. You might consider doing the same.

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#338090 - 02/11/11 07:16 PM Re: Sound & Vision mag reviews M60's [Re: Kruncher]
JBall Offline
veteran

Registered: 11/11/10
Posts: 141
Originally Posted By: Kruncher
Compared to many here, I don't post my ramblings here that often, but I must say...

This is approaching the most dismissive, thoughtless and borderline rude posts I've read here in some time. And for those who've been here awhile, that might be saying something.

Regardless of Mr. Lofft's current employment, the man knows of what he speaks, and if you'd take a moment to actually listen without bias, you might actually learn something. Then offer some well conceived questions with which to expand your knowledge on the topic.

To have such an expert in the field who willing, concisely and frequently shares his knowledge is a rare gift in any industry, and I for one respect the hours and dedication that such experts put into their craft. You might consider doing the same.


Um how can I be biased if I own Axioms and just curious about better performing product. I guess its offensive to owners here that there can't be better product? Perhaps I should start a thread at HT Shack or HometheaterSpot to get a more balanced perspective. Sorry peeps...


Edited by JBall (02/11/11 07:17 PM)

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#338097 - 02/11/11 08:10 PM Re: Sound & Vision mag reviews M60's [Re: JBall]
grunt Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/04/06
Posts: 3569
Loc: Nirvana
Quote:

I am not a very scientific oriented person . . . .


shocked
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#338098 - 02/11/11 08:19 PM Re: Sound & Vision mag reviews M60's [Re: grunt]
CatBrat Offline
axiomite

Registered: 08/05/09
Posts: 5647
Loc: Some random location
I feel like I'm sitting here on the sidelines and listening to both sides without taking sides, other than leaning towards Alan's comments because I figure he knows much more on the subject. But, there rings some truth in what JBall is saying also. If you are used to the Axiom sound, from hours upon hours of listening, you brain will be attuned to the Axiom sound (whether good or not so good). So when a new sound is introduced, even though it might sound better to the majority of listeners, the Axiom trained brains may still prefer the Axiom sound.

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#338099 - 02/11/11 08:21 PM Re: Sound & Vision mag reviews M60's [Re: CatBrat]
Ken.C Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 17695
Loc: NoVA
Not true. Audio memory is incredibly short. When I heard M80s over at someone's house, I thought to myself, well, other than the volume (which was tremendous), my M50s are just about as good as this. Back to back comparo (which, admittedly, was not blind or instantaneous), the differences were quite a bit more pronounced. Still, when we did the M50/M22 comparison at my house, I walked out for a tad, came back in, and had to ask which one was playing. And they did not sound very similar!
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#338100 - 02/11/11 08:26 PM Re: Sound & Vision mag reviews M60's [Re: grunt]
jakewash Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 12/26/03
Posts: 10389
Loc: Calgary, Alberta
A blind test will eliminate any bias and only the speakers sound can be compared. I agree that most owners of what ever brand they have are very familiar with it's sonic signature and would stand a good chance at picking those speakers out during a blind test, however when all speakers in said test share a similar sound it becomes much more difficult to pick them out.
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